The 2020 Hyundai Venue is the latest entry to the burgeoning subcompact crossover segment, but rather than targeting the heart of that crowded group, it aims for the entry point with a small size and similarly small price. The all-new model for Hyundai is highly attractive with a chiseled, upright body and wide stance.
The most direct competitors to the Hyundai Venue are the Nissan Kicks and the Kia Soul. Both are priced closely to the Hyundai and are similarly only available with front-wheel drive. The Kicks is a bit more fuel efficient and offers more cargo space, but isn’t as fun to drive. The Soul is significantly larger than both, offers more powerful engines and additional trim choices, but can also end up costing more as a result and is less efficient. Still, it’s worth checking out all three along with a pair of small hatchbacks: the Honda Fit and Kia Rio.
That hodge-podge collection of competitors aside, the Venue is nevertheless an attractive, cost-effective alternative to any of the subcompact crossover contenders so long as all-wheel drive isn’t a must.
How big is the Venue?
The Venue is a very small crossover at just 159 inches long, which is a full 10 inches shorter than its close competitor the Kicks. It’s also a featherweight, tipping the scales at a little more than 2,500 pounds. This size makes it easy to maneuver, but so does the Venue’s great forward and lateral visibility made possible by tall, upright windows and thin pillars. Rear visibility is marred by thick rear pillars, but isn’t any worse than the competition (in some cases, it’s actually better).
Space for front passengers is accommodating, particularly with headroom. It’s also easy to find a comfortable seating position with the extra-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and head- and legroom are generous up front.
What’s the Venue’s interior and in-car technology like?
As with most cars in this price range, the Venue’s interior has a plethora of cheap, hard plastics. Fortunately, Hyundai uses a nice mix of colors and textures that makes it look more upscale than it is. It also has nice details such as little hashmarks dotting the outside of the instrument dials, a stylish temperature and fan speed display for the automatic climate control, and nifty striped fabric in the up-level SEL we tried out. The Denim model, pictured above, goes a step further with a unique light blue interior and matching upholstery.
What features are available and what’s the Venue’s price?
The base Hyundai Venue SE with a manual transmission starts at $18,470, and adding the CVT brings the price to $19,670. The Venue SE’s feature set is fairly basic as far as comfort and convenience items are concerned with power windows and locks, manual climate control, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a four-speaker sound system and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto compatibility, one USB port and Bluetooth.